Success whets Waulgrovians' appetite
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Open League champions Waul-grovians are looking to add the Berger Paints Super League title to their trophy cabinet this season.
They will launch their quest for that title today when they oppose Tivoli Gardens 'B' in the opening match of the competition at the Leila Robinson Courts, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Title-holders Jamalco and another major contender, Tivoli Gardens 'A', will also bow into action today at 4:30 p.m.
Jamalco will oppose Police, while Tivoli 'A' will face Windalco.
Arnett Gardens will oppose Mico and G.C. Foster 'A' challenge Skibo 'A' in today's other Super League matches.
Wayne Shaw, manager of Jamalco, who are going for their eighth consecutive hold on the title, says they have a decent opportunity to win.
"I think we have a good chance of repeating last year's success because of the experience and depth that we have in our team."
He added: "We are going for our eighth straight title and I am very confident that we can achieve this, once we play the way we are supposed to play."
Tivoli Gardens, who were beaten by Jamalco in last year's semi-final, will battle Windalco.
Sylvester Campbell, coach of the Tivoli, expects a tough game.
"We have a good game against Windalco and we will have to play very hard to beat them," said Campbell.
"I think we stand a good chance of winning the Super League because we are one of the favourites to win. But we will have apply ourselves and play our best games all the time in order to achieve this."
The Marvette Anderson-coached Waulgrovians won the Open League in fine style by defeating favourites Tivoli Gardens 'A' in the final.
The victory was also a bittersweet one for the champions, after former national players Oberon Pitterson, Marvette Murray and Sharmalee Watkins left the club for arch-rivals Tivoli Gardens at the start of the season.
Still beaming with confidence from their earlier success, Anderson said she was expecting a much tougher challenge from her opponents.
"We are expecting stiffer competition because a number of teams have players who didn't take part in the Open League, and these players should add a lot of depth and strength to these teams, and so it should be more competitive," said Anderson, who was recently appointed assistant coach of Jamaica's Under-21 netball team.
"We are as confident as we were in the Open League because once we can improve in our weak areas then we should be in the final," said Anderson, who is also the coach of The Queen's School, which won the ISSA Under-16 All-Island and Corporate Area netball titles.
Waulgrovians' success this season was also built around a host of young players, who won the regional Jean Pierre Under-16 tournament for Jamaica last year on home oil.
They were brought into the team to replace the senior players who departed at the start of the season. They are wing attack Thristiana Harwood, centre Kellesha Freckleton, wing attack Khadijah Williams, goal defence Adean Thomas and goalkeeper Kerry Edwards.
"I must commend our young players because they stepped up, with the help of the senior players, and they performed excellently for us, and I am very proud of them," Anderson pointed out.
"I expect an even better performance from them in this league. Now that they know what senior team (competition) is about I think the sky is the limit for them."
Commenting on their game against Tivoli today, Anderson said: "I think this should be a good one; Tivoli is a good team and they have playing in the senior league for a very long time."
She added: "I expect my team to play a simple game because we are going to be working on our defence, and once we can achieve this we should win the game."